Driving Without a Valid License
In Illinois, driving without a valid license is a serious offense. Driving without a valid license is typically charged as Class B misdemeanor, which is a criminal charge, if you are caught driving under one of the three following scenarios:
- If you were previously issued a driver’s license or permit, which has been expired for greater than one year; or
- If you have never been issued a driver’s license or permit; or
- If you are not qualified to obtain a driver’s license or permit due to your age.
Under Illinois law, 625 ILCS 5/6-101, you may face a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail and a $1,500 fine for this offense. In addition, you may suffer a license suspension or revocation imposed by the Illinois Secretary of State. In other words, even if you have never been issued a license, the Secretary of State can enter a suspension or revocation on your record, which would prevent you from obtaining a license in the future.
Driving on a suspended or revoked license, under 625 ILCS 5/6-303, is a different offense with different consequences.
The Secretary of State will impose the following license penalties if you are convicted for driving without a valid license (if you have no prior suspensions or revocations):
- 1st Conviction: 2-month Suspension
- 2nd Conviction: 4-month Suspension
- 3rd Conviction: 6-month Suspension
- 4th Conviction: 12-month Suspension
- 5th or Subsequent Conviction: License Revocation
License consequences are even more severe for those with prior suspensions or revocations.
Unlicensed driving can be charged as a Class A misdemeanor, if you failed to obtain a driver’s license or permit after the expiration of a period of revocation. Class A misdemeanors carry a maximum 12 months jail sentence and $2,500 fine. If you have been issued a temporary visitor’s driver’s license (TVDL) and you are unable to show proof of liability insurance, you would face a petty offense under Illinois law.
If you have been charged with driving without a valid license, you should seek competent legal representation. Evaluating your record and determining your options is a top priority. Obtaining a driver’s license prior to your court date could make all the difference.
The attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. represent clients on a variety of license charges. We are extremely familiar with the current laws and Illinois Secretary of State consequences. Our attorneys provide professional and knowledgeable representation throughout the Chicagoland area including Cook, Lake and DuPage Counties. Contact us today to discuss your case.